Wakefield Council ‘hugely disappointed’ at demise of Unity Works

Wakefield Council's Andy Wallhead.
Wakefield Council's Andy Wallhead.

Wakefield Council has expressed its disappointment at the city’s flagship Unity Works venue going into administration.

The council provided a £500,000 grant to help fund a project to bring the iconic building on Westgate back into public use after it stood derelict for decade.

Unity House (Wakefield) Ltd went into administration yesterday, three years after the venue was reopened, and all future live music and arts events have been cancelled.

Andrew Wallhead, the council’s corporate director for regeneration and economic growth said: “We are hugely disappointed that Unity Works has gone into administration.

“The council and partners have been working to support the organisation over the last three years and it is very sad that it has reached this point.”

Wakefield Council’s contribution to the Unity Hall project was among £4m worth of grants secured to fund the scheme. A further £750,000 came from the Architectural Heritage Fund.

A community share issue also raised more than £200,000 after people were encouraged to take a stake in the project.

Yesterday administrators from insolvency firm Begbies Traynor said most Unity Works staff had been made redundant but current business tenants could remain there under their current terms.

Mr Wallhead said: “Our immediate priority now is to support the businesses located in the building.

“We are lobbying for the building to be kept open during the administration process to ensure that these businesses can continue to trade without any disruption.”